Sunday, 16 October 2011

nottingham's heritage apple varieties

Apples are fussy old pollinators: they are either diploid (needing two pollinators) or triploid (needing three).

So, when you get an apple pip, it will never grow to be exactly like the tree from which it fell snug inside its apple. Each apple pip will produce a tree that is unlike any other. So how do we grow another Bramleys seedling tree is all pips produce trees unlike their parents? The way that we get around this is by grafting buds of the most successful trees onto 'rootstocks' and then we have a perfect clone of the mother tree!

Nottinghamshire's most famous apple (the Bramley seedling) was a good example of this. Found in a Southwell garden growing from a discarded apple pip, buds of the mother tree have been successfully grafted onto rootstocks and then gone on to grow around the world.

This diversity of apple tree seedlings has produced a wide heritage of local varieties and Nottinghmashire has its own unique heritage.
  • Askham Pippin
  • Domino
  • Markham Pippin
  • Nottingham Pippin
  • Radford Beauty
  • Pickering Seedling
  • Sissons Worksop Newton
  • Bess Pool
They are all unique local apple varieties especially suited to flourishing in our conditions.

I am hoping that St Annes Allotments (who have a heritage apple project) will provide me with some of these from those they grafted from old local varieties on their site.

After that, I must hunt down our local varieties to fill our orchard with trees that reflect the neglected fruit growing traditions of our county.

1 comment:

Andrew S said...

I am about to plant a small orchard. It's purpose is to feed us top fruit for as much of the year as possible but we are in Nottinghamshire and I'm interesed in finding local varieties. How is your search going? Did the St Anne's allotment project help your search? Andrew S